First-years should be careful drinkers

Think before you drink…or rather, drink at least once before you think you can handle a lot of alcohol. Learning how to drink and not getting sick or looking stupid takes time, like all things one learns. No one ever learned to dive before learning to swim, but it seems that Williams freshmen have jumped right into a sea of alcohol largely unfamiliar to many of them. I have something to tell them before they drown.

It might seem strange, but the first months of college might not be the best time for first-years to experiment with alcohol, especially if they have not done it before. Think about all the new people you meet and to what extent you would like to make a fool of yourself in front of them. They are still new faces in your life and might not be ready to face your “dark side.”

As someone nicely put it, “The nice thing about old friends is that you can afford to be stupid when they are around.” The nice thing about new friends, I would say, is that you don’t have to be stupid in order to impress them (you will have to do it eventually, once they have gotten used to your other nice qualities).

Again, for some of you, coming to college is one of your first encounters with alcohol – to be followed by many more, of course. But you have to be careful if you want to remain on good terms with that tricky substance (and the American law). The key is not to shoot for more than you can take. Drinking alcohol is not unlike many other things in life, including studying, exercising and even eating ice cream: it might make you feel bad if you do too much. On doing too little I will not take a stand. You know better than that.

Alex Grashkina ’04

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